This incredible nano-technological advance could mean that a newborn child will receive a plastic card with a microchip, where information is stored about potential diseases, troubles with health and drug contraindications is stored, and the microchip will be cheap enough for any citizen of a civilized country to purchase.
What is the innovation known as “smart dust”?
Smart dust is a global network of microprobes with sensors (micro-electromechanical systems, known as MEMS) and nano-robots that see and watch all that occurs under the roof of one’s home (whether you want them to or not). They can look after the sick and treat them with “smart drugs,” which are decided upon by considering the patient’s individual genetic profile.
The “smart dust” technology also known as “smart matter,” combines computers with tiny mechanical devices such as sensors, valves, gears, mirrors, and actuators embedded in semiconductor chips. According to Paul Saffo of the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California, MEMS or what he calls ‘analog computing’ will be “the foundational technology of the next decade.”
How are MEMS in use or currently under study by Russian scientists?
MEMS are currently employed as accelerometers in automobile air-bags, having supplanted a more costly and less reliable device. They show promise of being able to expand the effectiveness of air bags by being able to inflate one not only on the basis of sensed deceleration but also on the basis of the size of the person they are protecting. Other available uses of MEMS or those under study include:
• global positioning system sensors that provide the constant tracking and treatment of parcels
• airplane sensors built into the fabric of the wing that can sense and react to air flow by altering the resistance of the wing surface via many tiny wing flaps
• optical switching devices that use different paths to switch light signals
• energy-saving, sensor-driven heating and cooling systems
• sensors embedded into building supports that affect stress sensing
MEMS may well be a major technology for the future, although with the help of Russian and other European and American scientists, it may be closer on the horizon than previously thought.
Children of the future may well be born with a permanent pocket on their hip to carry their microchips with them wherever they may go!